Brian Fleischman, Matthew Reed and Andy Potts of America have just won the 2006 ITU Team Triathlon World Championship. The three elite triathletes claimed the gold medal and title of Triathlons strongest nation in a time of 57:11. Fifty-two seconds down was the second place Germany with Canada rounding out the podium a further 37 seconds back.
The dynamics are so different in a short distance race like this and the key is to make no mistakes, remarked American anchor Potts. And today we made no mistakes.
The U.S. team never fell below third spot in the super-sprint relay style championship. The race consisted of three legs, with each athlete completing a leg, made up of a 250 metre swim, 6.6 kilometre bike and 1,600 metre run in succession, before handing off to their teammate.
The first leg lined up for the starters horn with Fleischman, Germans Jan Frodeno and Spains Javier Gomez exiting the water only second ahead of Canadian Kyle Jones. Jones managed to catch on early in the bike leaving the first leg to the run. Frodeno, as well as the entire German team, completed the entire bike leg already in his runners, giving him a slight advantage into second transition which proved to be useful as he left transition two with a 10 second lead.
A lot gets decided in transition, stated German second Daniel Unger. We tried to get a bit of an advantage in T2 [with the shoes] but it did affect the bike a little. I think it was the right decision though.
Heading into the exchange area and onto leg two it was Frodeno, who held his lead, coming in first, followed by Gomez, Fleischmann and Jones only seconds behind.
As the wind picked up and the surf roughened, the order did not change through the second leg swim but the tall America Reed made his move early in the bike, catching Germanys Daniel Unger and powering through onto the run where his lead increased to almost a minute over Unger. Just behind was a fast approaching Canada and Spain, neck in neck.
I love the short stuff and when I caught Daniel [Unger] I wanted to make him hurt. Exclaimed Reed.
Onto the third leg there was no doubt who would finish first-second but there was a battle brewing for third. Canadas Paul Tichelaar was able to power away from Spains world champion Ivan Raa on the bike putting a decisive 20 second gap between himself and the Spaniard.
I knew I had my hands full with Ivan [Raa], said Canadian anchor Tichelaar. I knew I had to put a gap on him in the bike. I just put my head down and went.
Onto the run Tichelaar continued to push the pace and despite taking a wrong turn only metres from the finish, was able to cross the line in time and claim the final podium spot for Canada.
Spain finished in fourth with a young Hungarian team rounding out the top five.
2006 ITU Team Triathlon World Championships Elite Men
1.USA (Brian Fleischmann, Matt Reed, Andy Potts)57:11
2.GERMANY (Jan Frodeno, Daniel Unger, Maik Petzold)58:03
3.CANADA (Kyle Jones, Colin Jenkins, Paul Tichelaar)58:40
4.SPAIN (Javier Gomez, Jose Tovar, Ivan Raa) 58:54
5.HUNGARY (Csaba Kuttor, Balazs Pocsai, Akos Vanek)1:00:44